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Letters to the Editor 

Week of July 16, 2003

Pure Pimp Poetry

It mesmerized me: James Robinson is wasting his time working for Muni ["Muni's Mack Daddy," June 4]. After reading his missive in SF Weekly ["Of Pimps and Politics," Letters, July 2], I would gladly subscribe to any newspaper that would hire him as an op-ed columnist. His prose does the pimp strut between pomposity, florid eloquence, jive camp, self-pity, and delusion. The Mack Daddy's writing is like two Muni buses colliding after both drivers have run a red light while tapping their horns to let everyone know they were blasting through. I reread his letter three times.

I hope a local bookshop stocks his tome about his pimp days, Gospel of the Game, because now I've got to have it.

Wolfgang Schmittle

Of white liberals and black sellouts: My name is Sekani Moyenda and I am co-author of the book Taking It Personally: Racism in the Classroom From Kindergarten to College with Ann Berlak. I am not a criminal, I do not have a sordid past, yet I have been given one in order to punish me for having written such a book. I am an elementary school teacher and while I had a spotless record before the book's release, since then I have been accused of sabotage, theft, child abuse, incompetence, and of course the last and best standby -- when you want to keep an African-American down -- threatening a staff member, or more accurately, "terrorizing" them with a clean and sealed envelope with a private response to a memo in it.

Obviously Mr. Robinson's colorful past was a great opportunity to tear a brotha down; but I want your readers and Mr. Robinson to know that his past is not what got him in trouble, although it was the excuse given for his illegal removal. Had he not had the past, an equally racist stereotype would have been provided, as the Weekly's writer, Lessley Anderson, so accurately was able to provide.

If I had a dime for every white man or woman who has argued that African-Americans like myself have a "chip" on our shoulders due to "slavery," Bill Gates would be borrowing money from me. Let's be clear that what is so frustrating and life-diminishing about racism is that any good deed will be punished. Mr. Robinson committed himself to what was right and he was punished for it. As an educator I am surrounded by liberal whites and Uncle Toms who argue that students should sit down and "get an education" and become "literate," but to this day, I have been criminalized and demonized for writing this book in my workplace.

So Mr. Robinson, at least know that had you remained a pimp you would have been rewarded with social services and an overwhelming amount of sympathy and support. Our crime is far, far worse. We actually did pull ourselves up by our bootstraps; so they had to cut us off at the knees.

I would like the opportunity to speak with Mr. Robinson about this phenomenon and perhaps others who have made something of themselves only to be torn to bits by those you would think would appreciate, as opposed to envy, our success.

As for Ms. Anderson, shame shame. Perhaps some anti-racism training for news reporters would be in order.

Sekani Moyenda
Via the Internet

You nasty mo-fos: What an offensive cover and title for your June 4 issue ["Muni's Mack Daddy"]. I won't even pretend to have spent much time actually reading the article. SF Weekly has a history of such affronts to black men on your covers and in your "reporting." While it may not be your worst, it's certainly close.

Cornelius Moore

Lay Off Levada

And give the man some credit: I found the cover art for your article "Nailed?" offensive and misleading [June 25]. The story explained conditions under which victims are filing legal claims against abusive priests.

Archbishop Levada is not one of them, nor is he accused of covering for them. He was the first bishop to ask his American peers to make full disclosures of criminal acts, a fact reported by the writer, but grudgingly.

My experience is that Archbishop Levada is respected by local Catholics as a capable leader. He inherited this scandal from his predecessor, John Quinn, who resigned in 1998. Taking charge after decades when it seemed nobody was minding the store, Levada deserves some credit, not jokey artwork, for his efforts to repair this diocese.

Patricia Cady
San Francisco


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